2018 A rich Vintage for the Valley
Yarra Valley wineries are abuzz this time of year, we took a behind the scenes look at how vintage 2018 is panning out at one of our favourite stops in the valley – Pimpernel Vineyards – to get an update on how their harvest is looking for 2018.
When we stopped by, about two weeks into vintage, the crew at Pimpernel had all hands on deck, processing the last of their Pinot Noir. It’s an absolutely amazing looking crop this year, with slightly above average yields of great quality fruit.
A worrisome lead-up to harvest, with difficult growing periods up until Christmas had the team concerned. But once February arrived, bringing 5 to 6 weeks of perfectly dry ripening weather, things started to look up and haven’t stopped since. It’s rare to see so many weeks in a row of dry weather in the Valley, which for these guys means less disease pressure, better quality good size fruit and ideal baumes.
It also means long hours, and a lot of hard work. Picking their 114, 115 and 777 Pinot Noir first, then moving on to Chardonnay and Viognier, then MV6 Pinot clones – the gems that go into the making of their famed Pinot Noir Three.
But what the guys are really eager to get their hands on, is the Shiraz. ‘It’s probably looking the best, it looks absolutely immaculate, and a really nice crop level. It looks like it’s carrying only 1.8 tonnes to the acre and looks perfect’ boasts winemaker and vineyard manager, Damien Archibald.
With 16 acres under vine, the team are able to react quickly at the first signs of any problems in the vineyard. Also having non-irrigated vines means a more resistant and stronger crop, which this year only saw a 5% loss of fruit.
Ideal temperatures in the low 30s, with warm sunny days, cool nights and not too much rain, 2018 is shaping up to be a rich vintage.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on sampling this year’s produce, get in and book your wine tour with Wine Compass Yarra Valley Tours today.